Adam Hartigan

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Handsome Devil.
Adam Hartigan
Origin: Natural
Archetype: Scrapper
Security Level: 50
Personal Data
Real Name: Adam Hartigan
Known Aliases: None
Species: Human
Age: 29
Height: 6'2
Weight: 195 lbs.
Eye Color: Green (Pupils tend to have a glow about them)
Hair Color: Black
Biographical Data
Nationality: Irish-American
Occupation: Mercenary
Place of Birth: Kings Row
Base of Operations: Paragon City
Marital Status: Widow
Known Relatives: Wife: Tatiana Hartigan (Deceased) and Son: Michael Rook
Known Powers
Seems to have the power to slowly heal himself over periods of time depending on the severity of the wounds. Also seems to have an extreamly tough hide with what can be called an Olympian class strength.
Known Abilities
Trained by the United States Marine Corp. in Hand to hand, small arms, and marksman training.
Recovering alcoholic and a man whore.

First Meeting

I looked at all of the other sad faces in the room. Scared, thinking the same things I am. "I can't believe I'm freaking' doing this" is one thing. Another would be "What if this is just a waste of time?". The list goes on of how we really all feel about these stupid meetings. But, this is only my first time after all.

I stood up, looked at the doctor who sat where everyone could see him. Just my luck that i would get a doctor i couldn't even take out for a drink. He looked at me with that little smile that doctors are known for. You know councilors, always giving you that wide-eyed look like your something amazing. Like your something they have never seen before. I nodded to him first, letting him know i was ready to give this stupid shit a shot.

Standing up I gave everyone a little nod, takes a lot for a man like me to get self-contious, but those looks they were all giving me. Those looks of understanding, put me out of my element. I didn't want to be understood, but for me to get over this i needed to speak. I needed to stop hiding inside myself and let everyone know my story, to talk it out.

"Hello everyone, my name is Adam...and I am an alcoholic." Ah, the word. The one word I can't believe I'm hearing coming out of my own mouth. There eyes lit up as i spoke them however, the confirmation that we were all here for the same reason. They all gave a little wave, some even moved to shake my hand as they said "Hi Adam".

"Hello Adam" the doctor said again after the initial greeting, standing to shake my hand in front of everyone "You'll be happy to hear your not my first marine" He said with a smirk rolling up his sleeve to show off the me and the rest of the group that he too had served time in the marines. Gods sick sense of humor would give me a male marine abuse councilor instead of a naked woman, but i learned to death with the doc. "Adam, just to confirm your worries if you have any, everyone here is in the same position. Everyone here has a problem with controlling there drinking for one reason or another, So would you like to say something?"

So, I'm surrounded by a bunch of super powered alcoholics and i was just asked if I wanted to say something? Hmmm, Yeah, I think what I want to say is "Nice meeting you I'm gonna just see myself out." But i know thats not what i need. I need to stop telling myself that I can keep it all in, i need to just open up and speak.

" much time do I have?" Was my only question. I was pumped, ready to just start spilling out my problems. The Doc just looked to everyone for a moment and then looked at me

"Today is your first day Adam, so why don't you tell us the beginning?" Shit, the Beginning. I shut my eyes only to open them to eyes not of boredom, but people who wanted to hear my beginning. The story of Adam Hartigan: Chapter one. I focused on the Doc feeling like he was a great place to start my story.

"Was my senior year of high school. All four years i'd focused on girls and looking good, that my grades weren't the best they could be. Now I'm not saying I was a D student or anything but i certainly wasn't a genius. I didn't have many other options, so i turned to where a lot of people turned to. The Military. I spoke to a recruiter, took all the steps into getting in, and before i knew it I was getting ready to graduate basic out of Arizona. I was barley a graduate before the attack on the world trade center."

I paused to look at peoples reactions, they all knew where this was going. Some people shook there heads, others just listened. One person was even asking me to keep going. "After the attack, I was deployed into Iraq. My job in the marines without getting to technical was just your basic infantry grunt. I wasn't anything special. So there is where I start, the death of my friend." I nodded, knowing not many people had heard this story "My first major fuck up." I heard myself mutter, shaking my head to continue my story.

"My friends name was Eric, Eric B. Ogrodowski." I shut my eyes, his face flooding every thought, every word i tried to say I wanted to just keep saying his name. "Private First Class Eric Ogrodoski and I were going on patrol one day along with our squad. I was nervous, but excited. I was the war hero that everyone saw on TV and in movies, and Ogrodowski and I were covering each others back. While on this patrol, a few of the insurgents got around us using tunnels they had dug into the other houses, we were under heavy fire, and Ogrodowski was pinned down, and I could have bunkered down, i could have just moved to cover and I could have covered him so he could retreat...But i ran out there to grab him and pull him myself...Private First Call Eric Ogrodowski followed me because i told him I had his back, and he was shot in neck right over my shoulder" My voice trailed off, the thought returning to me as a tear started to build up.

I don't cry. Didn't then, and I wasn't about to now. I shut up for a few seconds and took a deep breath, trying to not remember but at the same time tell the story. I looked at the group and one woman had her eyes shut and head down, but the Doc being the marine he was just sat there and nodded, as if he understood. He went to speak but I just held up a hand and nodded to him, he knew I was ok to continue, we had to be. Adapt to over come, right?

"But I wasn't done. I wasn't about to give up on my friend. I leaned down and grabbed him and pulled him over my shoulder, carrying him the four miles back to base. We were on a simple patrol, and medics where in short supply, so i knew if i was even going to try to save his life, i was going to have to get him to the green zone. I needed to. No man left behind and on the first day I wasn't going to leave him. Not my friend, not my brother." I felt it, i felt the tear fall down my cheek, but i just kept a face and looked right at the doctor "I knew he was gone, I could feel him just leave this earth but i kept running. I got there and the doctors had to peel me off him...Just to tell me he was gone."

The doctor nodded and looked at the clock, I later learned he was about to tell us all that we were out of time, but he just nodded to me to continue. "When I said I could hear him leave this earth, feel him, i mean that. When I picked him up over my shoulder, he made a joke...The bastard was still making jokes after taking a round to the neck. He couldn't breath, but maybe it was the adrenaline or...something...he told me this didn't mean i could kiss him as he handed me his baretta. He handed me his side arm, letting me lift him up and use it to cover him. I had his back, and I wasn't about to let him down again. " I reached up and marked three places on my body "I received the purple heart on my first day, and was hailed a hero around the area...I started drinking then. Thats when i started to really drink. Maybe not as bad as I did now, but i picked up the habit of drinking from dawn to dusk if I could...because I was called a "Hero" when i really wasn't. I made a mistake, and I lost my friend, I vowed to do everything to help my friends after that, I still have the baretta..." I faded again, forgetting the tears for a moment, just letting them stay. As soon as I remembered them though I quickly wiped them away.

"Thats just the start.." But i sat down, tired. The remembering, the thinking, i couldn't do it anymore. The doctor again looked at the clock and smiled to me "Well, we just ran out of time" He lied to me as he looked to everyone. Some were wiping tears away, others where nodding. But what startled me was as everyone was leaving, one of the younger girls walked up and took my hand as I was about to wipe away at my eyes. I didn't learn her name, I didn't know her at all. But she reached up and wiped my eye, smiling to me, whispering in this sweet little tone "My name is Heather, and if I had to guess, Eric would think you were his hero. Because of you he got home, and wasn't left there. You didn't let him stay, you had his back" To this I couldn't help it. I just felt the tears come back as she leaned forward "Your Eric's hero." was the final thing she said before leaving me alone in the room with the Doc.

The Doc just looked at me, noticing I was about to break down and just spoke out "Marine." I snapped too and looked to him, the remembering brining back all my old mannerisms. "Marines don't cry for the fallen, they respect them" He said again, looking at me with a serious face. But his face went soft as he stood up, but not as a Marine. Not as a Soldier, and not as a Doctor. But as a human being speaking to another, walking over to put a hand on my shoulder "But a brother is aloud to cry for his fallen family"...I don't think I have ever cried harder than I did when he said that. He reached out as a man, and gave me a soft hug before letting me go, letting me sit and letting me cry. I felt better though, I felt like now others know what I did, I was so scared of being hated for what happened with Eric that I never told anyone...But it seems this group is going to work out after all...

Second meeting

Driving to the meetings is still a new feeling to me. Its something I've signed myself up for, spent my money, and it almost feels like your first trip to college. After high school where your forced to be there, the idea that you can just not show up to classes is so alien you want to experience it. But you won't get anywhere that way, you need to go, you need to make that money worth it.

I pulled into the parking lot with the rest of the cars, noticing that those who drove did, but there were little rubber foot prints in some parking spots where the speedsters stopped, area's of dirt pushed away from the ground where those who fly landed. I don't like feeling different, so when i pull up in my chevy to see I'm kinda the only one with a car, It feels good. Feels almost like I'm the only "Normal" person here.

But then again I was early, rather get there early than late. So i turned up the radio and started listening to my favorite classic rock station when all of the sudden there was this pat on my hood. An admirer of the classics i'd imagined. Not to often you spot a Nova parked in the spot of a rec center. But it wasn't just an admirer, it was that girl Heather. The one who told me I was Eric's hero. Sweet girl, a little young for me, which was even more upsetting seeing how she was so young in AA.

"Nice ride you got here, Hartigan." She mused as she moved around the front. Now Heather wasn't the type to dress sultry, or even dress to impress. She was wearing a baggy sweatshirt and some plane jeans. But for a girl of maybe twenty one years old, even younger i'd imagine she was very pretty. Short blonde hair, green eyes, and she seemed to be in shape.

"Thanks. Shes my baby. Only really bring her out when the time calls for it, ya' know?" I said with a smile as i got out of my car, running my hand over the nice black paint job. Her eyes were on me now though, which only didn't do my car any justice because now she was gorgeous. Seriously I never bring her out anymore what with all the people shooting at me and such, so its nice to really get her out and about.

Now, as for my attire, I was wearing my suit. Nice light green dress shirt with a black tie and vest. Nothing to classy. Dress pants and my dress shoes. But she was looking at me funny as if there was something else she was looking at. "So, Heather what is it you do?" I asked, leaning my elbow on the door of my car, looking at her face.

"I'm a gardener." She said with a proud smile "My powers give me plant control! So i go around and help people with there gardening." Her whole body language changed from this casual almost awkward stance, to very happy and giddy. "I love outside! Always so nice during this time of year, so i get a lot of business." She continued, leaning her rear on the hood of my car.

My hands moved to shut my car door and lean against it. Reaching inside the window to turn it off. "Thats great!" Was all i could really say, not knowing many people with powers that they could make an honest living off of. "You live inside Paragon?" I asked, trying not to sound to forward.

She nodded her head a few times "Right inside Galaxy city. Nice little apartment complex near the lake. You get your occasional riffraff but i can handle myself." She said trying to put on her tough face, i could tell she was actually trying seeing how it wasn't working at all. She was a dainty little thing, probably never saw much action.

"I'm sure you can" I said with an affirmative nod, moving a little closer, but only because it was getting to be that time where we go in. There was already a small crowd of familiar faces. She moved closer though, i gave her a look and a smirk crawled over my face. Its amazing how fast I can move now a days, seriously, i deserve a medal.

"Maybe you can come and check out the apartment one day?" She said with a wide smile, moving to stand in front of me, looking up at my face. Leaning her face close to mine. Well, needless to say there were a few things I could do in this situation. Being a single batiolar, i wasn't exactly worried about broken hearts.

Before I even had a chance to react my face was inches from hers, but as she moved in for what was going to be no doubt some tongue-fu, i moved my head to her ear with a smirk "I doubt your husband would like that." I caught myself saying, giving myself a little pat on the back. She had no idea I noticed the golden wedding band on the ring finger of her left hand.

She blushed and looked at me with a little laugh "Nothing gets past you huh?" She said a little embarrassed, tucking a few strands of her golden hair behind her ear.

"Very little, but..." I moved my hand to lift her face up to see mine again, her blush still very visible against her pale skin. "I'd like to go there as a friend maybe?" Whew, breaking all kinds of rules. Going to a woman's apartment with the intention of just sharing a cup of coffee? I'm proud of you. Once I was done complimenting myself in my head, i moved my hand away from her chin and motioned to the door.

Standing there was the doctor, holding the door open for everyone else in the group. Heather and given me a nice little smile before walking ahead of me, going in first. The Doc gave me this funny little look and a laugh before i walked in. He mumbled a "Smooth moves there, kid." before going to the rest of the group.

I ignored him for the most part, that sly smirk still on my face. Moving to the seat I took last time the Doctor begin as soon as I sat down. Motion with his hands to the group "Good afternoon, everyone. Why don't we all start by introducing ourselves?" I wasn't exactly sure what he was doing seeing how there weren't any new members, but i just let it go around in a circle.

First there was Brian, who introduced himself and then said he had gone more than a year sober. Then there was Carl, who had gone four months sober. Bethany who had gone seven months sober, and then there was Heather, who had gone a month. There were so many others, but after Heather spoke i got a little distracted. After each introduction we were supposed to clap, i did that for everyone, but at the same time after Heather spoke i kinda forgot who I was clapping for, her, or the person talking.

Once it was my turn, i looked at everyone "Hello, my name is Adam. I've been sober one week today." I said with a proud smile, it sure wasn't a year, but it was a week. Heather smiled to me and clapped loudly, everyone laughed at her attempt to make a week sound much bigger than it really is, but for us it is. Every day feeling that urge to just pick it up and drink it.

After all of the introductions, I had leaned back into my chair, the doctor going around asking everyone how there week went, how there day is going, but i wasn't really paying attention until he got to Heather. "So, Mrs. Nelson, how are things going at home?" He asked with a grin, trying to stay friendly but at the same time sound like someone who cares. He really did care though.

"Things are...complicated, but I'm making them work." She said with a smile. Heh, complicated. Apparently complicated enough to make out with the alcoholics you met at AA. Thats the only reason I was so interested, I wanted to know why she went to kiss me. For a woman to one day stay behind and tell me I was a hero, to then nearly cheat on her husband with a person she had just much of a personality jump. I needed to know why.

"Wonderful, now how about you, Mr. Hartigan?" He asked turning his attention to me. His hands moving to cup themselves in his lap, looking at me seriously. That caring face he kept on putting on, was seriously leading me to assume he wasn't just some doctor, he was in this for his own reasons.

"Doin' ok Doc, just after last week i've been thinking a lot about why I'm here ya' know?" I had made a promise to myself that i was going to be open about everything. I was going to beat this stupid addiction.

"Well, why are you here? Why are we all here?" He said motioning to the group, they all attempted to show me the same expression as the Doctor, an expression of understanding.

"I'm here to get better." I heard myself saying with a nod, looking up at the doctor for confirmation, almost as if i wasn't sure if thats what I was here for.

"Exactly. Now last week you had told us your beginning? What is your middle Mr. Hartigan?" the Doctor asked, leaning back as if ready to continue to hear my story.

But it wasn't him i turned to, i looked to Heather who just nodded for me to keep telling me story "But, what about the others. I don't want to make this about me." I said honestly. Last week I took up so much time with my own shit not many people go to talk past the introduction.

"Adam this is about you." I heard one of the others say, the man named Carl. Carl had gone four months sober, and then turned to Brian to continue speaking "This is about all of us, we are here to find out why we drink, and talk about it. If you've got something on your mind. Speak it." Brian, the one who had gone more than a year "Least we could do for a hero like you." Theres that word again, that word i hated.

I just nodded and continued where i left off. "After Eric was pronounced dead, I spent the rest of that year just trying to stay level headed, I was given the opportunity to take my exams to get into the United Nations Task force devision. Took my exams and passed them in 2003. Wasn't long after that that I was about to wiggle out of my contract with the Marines, and finish off the rest of my time with the U.N."

I looked at the group just in case they didn't know what I was talking about "Was a rare situation but they were looking for people who had experience in dealing with individuals with super powers." They all kinda nodded and understood, realizing the idea of a super powered U.N. task-force wasn't that unheard of. I didn't want to tell them everything, i couldn't, it would have put there lives in danger, so i kept to the basics.

"While in my classified task force, i made new friends with a small handful of men, even fell in love with one of them. In 2006, we had a song together. But, we were both in the military, so we kept him in the states while we were on assignment, which could be from one to six months at a time. So we put him up for adoption....Shortly after putting him up for adoption there was a...complication. I was to be married the same year my fiance died." I said, my heart growing heavy, leaning forward, impressed i was about to get all that out in one shot, guess this group is growing on me.

The group grew strangely silent, but again that damn doctor just understood. He looked at me and nodded slowly "Well, What happened after your fiance passed?"

"What you can expect, sir." I laughed at that "I came here, started working. With the experience I had, i tried to work in the Kings row Police Department but it just wasn't working out, so as of a few years ago i started going whatever i could to get money". Wasn't exactly sure if I could openly say 'So yeah, i started doing contract jobs.'

The Doc nodded, but i turned my attention to the rest of the group who were silent, but Brian leaned forward "When my wife died of cancer." he started, already looking a little hurt by it "There was this void, that i couldn't fill. I tried sex, i tried drugs, and then of course everyone here can imagine i turned to the drink." Brian was an older man. Was rather happy to hear he wasn't going to go into his sex life, but i let him continue.

"The beer won't fill that void, son. Because no matter how much you drink, you'll always find yourself wondering what you could have done. Was there something? Was it destiny, fate. You could spend your whole life trying to figure out what you could have done...or you could put the bottle down and see what you can do now." Damn. The man knew how to say it. Brian leans back and nodded to Carl who seemed to be good friends. Bethany smiled in my general direction but Heather just looked at me. Her eyes were glued to me again as if I was something special.

"Well, Mr. Hartigan I'd say You've got more to think about." apparently I did, but i wasn't exactly sure what to do about that void if drinking and sex wasn't going t fill it. But i knew that i wanted to not talk anymore, I gave them the story they wanted to hear, got what I needed to hear. "But, it seems you've once again, brought us to the end of our time together. So, i'll see you all again next week."

The group all stood up, was rather happy this meeting didn't end in tears like the last one did, but i certainly wasn't ready to keep talking about my life. The others smiled and patted my shoulder. Most of them saying stuff like "Be safe, Adam." Or "Good night" But Heather smiled and said "Thank you". Took me a few moments to realize what she was thanking me for, I just nodded to her and gave her a pleasant smile.

"You just let me know when your ready for that coffee" I said to her with a smile and a wave as i reached for my keys. Walking out the door and getting back in my car, the radio coming on as soon as i heard the engine turn on. I paused and turned to see Heather walking, it was a few blocks away from the tram-station, i i figured i'd give her a lift "Hey! Want a ride?" I called out to her.

She smiled and turned to nod, running over and get into my car. The song that was playing was "Roundabout" by "Yes." Great song i thought to myself, and apparently Heather thought the same. She smiled and I looked at the tram station "Here, don't waste your money on a ticket, i'll just drive you home" I said with a smile, turning onto the main road away from the rec center and toward the Galaxy City tunnel.

"Thanks for this, Adam." She said moving to put a hand on mine, but i just looked at her and she let out a little laugh before sitting back "But...Just don't let my husband see you." she said with a little laugh, but it made me curious. I was just driving her home. Maybe he didn't know she was going to AA. But i knew that i could just drop her off a block away or something.

As we neared the apartment building she spoke of, i dropped her off. Smiling to her "Please be safe, Heather. I'll see you later." She nodded a few times, but i couldn't help but notice as she reached over for a hug, there was a huge bruise on her shoulder, hidden by the sweat shirt. I narrowed my eyes and just hugged her, looking at the apartment. She got out and started to run to the building, I pulled away, passing her building before heading home. An interesting night.

'Lunch with a friend

It can really suck. Life I mean. I've almost gone two weeks without a drop of alcohol, and its killing me. I've been stabbed, shot, even blown up! It is obnoxious that i can't just sit around and enjoy a cup of coffee. But i guess it is easier for me than some of the other people, seeing how i can just go out and stop a bank robbery or some shit to take my mind off of things.

But there was one thing i couldn't take my mind off of. That woman Heather. Like i said she was a good looking girl so i know your all thinking "Haha, hes so gonna bone her" Or something like that, but thats not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about that bruise. When she went to hug me in the car that was a serious bruise. Like, not your average I bumped into a coffee table bruise, this was I got punched in the back bruise.

Maybe she got it out on patrol, but shes not the type to go out on patrol. Shes not your average super, she has no problem being a stay at home woman who uses her powers to tend with her garden. Shes made a career out of her powers not some stupid super heroine name like "The flytrap" or some stupid shit. She gave me her number so we could hang out, hell, if anyone asks this is going to be so i can talk more about why I'm an alcoholic.

So, i gave her a call, and she agreed that i could stop over some time around lunch and we could just sit around and chill. Around ten in the morning i started getting ready, but this wasn't an AA meeting. This was your average lunch with a friend, so i just wore a nice tee with some jeans. Nothing special so she didn't get the wrong idea. Hell, maybe the scary green eyes will intimidate her rather than turn her on.

I arrived at about eleven thirty, now, this was a monday, so I figured if her husband had a job he would be at work, So i didn't want to over stay my welcome. After all, Heather didn't want her husband to even see me drive her home, so i figured he was the jealous type. Can't blame him, now a days you see more dishonest men and woman rather than someone who knows what the word "Commitment" means.

Never fails that the elevator would be down, so I had to walk up those nine flights of stairs to reach her apartment room. Kinda made me laugh just thinking about how its always the little things. As I started walking I could hear the conversations that were going on, but what caught my attention was this yelling that echoed through out the stair case. No doubt someone was having a fight in one of the rooms that shared one of the walls. But as i got closer to Heathers floor, i recognized the female voice.

"You got what? Plans!? With who? Another man?" I heard the male voice yell as there was some loud banging noises, one of the other tenants was looking outside her door, bringing her attention to me. I walked up to the door and knocked on it, waiting for the welcoming comity.

"Oh look, slut! Your mans a'callin'!" he said, stomping his way over to the door, opening it fast and stepping out to meet me "Can I help you?" His voice was rude and harsh, and as I looked into the room, I saw Heather hiding behind a counter, trying to not hide from me, but him. Her face was red but her eye was black, tears streaming past yet another bruise.

My eyes met his, and I cannot tell you what came over me. I saw her crying, his hands balled into fists, but what upset me the most was the scars on his knuckles. Fresh blood painted them in some places which led me to only one conclusion, which led me to only one action. I turned to the woman who was looking at us both "Ma'am...Go inside."

My voice was smooth, angry. I don't remember the last time someone actually pissed me of on a moral level. I've tried to be understanding, but with everything thats been going on. Even the stuff i haven't talked about in AA, i wasn't going to let this go. ((Find Adam's theme song in his footnotes, gonna be worth listening to for this.))

I reached out and just lightly shoved him into his room, slamming the door behind me as I walked uninvited into Heathers home. I could feel my eyes do that thing they do when I'm angry. I guess the adrenaline causes the glow to intensify. His reaction was as expected to the shove, he backed up, not realizing that i had what some would call "Super strength". When thats not the case, I can't lift cars, but i can certainly rip one apart.

Heathers husband put his hands up and took a swing, but instead of blocking it I gave it to him. I let his punch make contact against my rock hard skin. His face said it all as he grabbed his hand, probably fracturing his wrist. I lifted my one foot up to put it against his chest and kick at him, sending him across the room into the wall. Heather cried out at that as if worried for him, but the look I gave her told her i wasn't going to seriously hurt him.

"You one of them? A fucking freak like her!?" He screamed as he pushed himself off the ground. I responded with a glare, motioning for Heather to leave "Heather, go to the apartment across the hall and stay there...I'm going to have a conversation with your husband."

Her eyes looked to her husband, his eyes were focused on me however. I smirked as I looked at his now dented wall. As I started walking towards him, he started to run at me to punch me, i could already tell that was his intention for he put his fists up to early, as he threw his punch i grabbed at his wrist and lifted his arm over my shoulder. I watched and waited for Heather to shut the door to her apartment before dislocating her husbands arm.

His scream however, i couldn't mask. For he grabbed his arm and looked to me scared. The reaction I was looking for, but no. This was a perfect way to blow out steam "You think you can do that? You think you can hit your wife and get away with it?" I yelled as my fist made contact with his dislocated arm, his eyes went wide and he cried out, letting the fist follow throw, bringing him to his knees.

"You listen to me your piece of shit." I yelled in his face, grabbing the collar of his shirt, picking him up into the air and smashing him into another wall, leaving another dent, and no doubt hurting his back further. I was here, to blow off steam, The punches I then delivered into his face, breaking his nose against my knuckles was enough reminder of that "If you so much as -sneeze- on your wife again, i'll be back. I won't do this..." I punched him in the face again "I won't even do this." I moved him down as fast as I brought my knee up to hit his ribs, fracturing a few of those no doubt . I let go of him to let his crying, broken and scared body fall to the ground. "I'll drag your ass outside and fucking kill you, you hear me? I'll beat you to death and make it look like self defense, got it?" I said, no longer hurting him. Hes been through enough.

His bruised, drooling face tried to mutter a "yes" but couldn't, probably lost to much of his teeth or was in to much pain to speak. I walked over to there house phone, dialing 911 and putting it on speaker so they could hear the cries. "This is Adam Hartigan, I'd like to report a break in." Heathers husband was in tears, holding himself like the wounded animal he was. "Yeah, I didn't get here in time to see the break in. Judging by the damage i'd suggest trolls. Send a squad car, i've got a man who will need serious care. Thank you". I moved to hang the phone up. My voice was calm the whole time, as if i hadn't done anything at all, but my body was tense from the fight. I knew I had to relax and now make it look like I at least tried to help. "Tell anyone other than a troll came here and tried to rob you, your dead." I said in a hush whisper, getting my face close to his ear as I set his arm back into place with a loud SNAP.

His crying intensified as I let him flop onto the ground, walking across the Hall to check on Heather. She was scared, but she looked at me with a smile as she realized her husband was the one crying. But like a good wife, she ran over to him, to check to see the damage, shocked to see just what I had done. She turned to me and slapped me across the face, then smirked at me. I returned the smirk and reached into my pocket, handing her my business card with my cell phone on it. I also grabbed my wallet and handed her two-hundred in cash. My food money for the week but it was so worth it.

"Sorry I wasn't able to stop the Troll in time from giving your husband what he deserved, Ma'am. But at least I was able to scare him off before he stole anything of value. This should cover some of the damages done to your walls. If theres anything else I can do to assist you, don't hesitate to call." My voice grew harsh as I looked into the apartment to the wounded ass on the floor.

She frowned at him and moved her hand to her eye, I could tell it must hurt but the smile on her face from seeing what her husband is going through "Thank you, Adam...You didn't have t--" I stopped her and moved my finger to her lips

"You didn't have to tell me what you did at my first meeting...Your a good person, Heather. I protect good people." I interrupted her, trying to show her i was just trying to help. She smiled and was about to just let me walk away, but as I reached the stair care to start my journey down, she yelled for me "Adam!" I looked up to see her smile "I told you you were a hero."

Normally, I hated being called that word. I didn't see what I did as worth of the title that comes with the word "Hero". But today, for some reason, it didn't bother me so much. As I walked down the stairs, i was greeted by two local patrol officers, asking me what happened. I told them that a Troll was beating on the man up stairs, I was going to have lunch with the woman of the apartment, when i heard the commotion I opened the door to find the troll. He ran when he saw me, and instead of going after him, i stayed to protect the family. They both patted me on the shoulder and told me "Good job" and ran up stairs, followed suit by the local EMTs.

I got back into my car and turned on the Radio, looking up at the apartment to lock eyes with the woman looking down at me from the window. Her smile spoke volumes as I put my car in drive and drove away. Normally, i hate being called hero. But today, i couldn't help but feel like one.

'Third meeting

Wouldn't you know it once I shut my door, there she was waiting for me to go in. Heathers eyes were brighter, her mood calmer, and her over all attitude was something to admire. "Hey there handsome! weeks now isn't it?" her voice was something out of a cartoon, she was way to happy to hear that I had gone two weeks sober.

"Yep. How you feelin'?" I asked, leaning against my car door, again showing up early to the meeting. Deciding that I wasn't going to get all classed up before even attempting to look as classy as i normally do. Wearing my black leather biker pants (get your giggles out now) and my green shirt.

She gave me this little shrug in response, not really wanting to talk about him, but then she flashed me this gorgeous smile "Adam, am I aloud to kiss you now?" She said, bitting at her bottom lip. I smiled to her and looked to her hand, she was smart. Removed her ring.

The kiss was what you can expect when you get a woman like her an a man like me under a street lamp against a classic car. I had no intention of sleeping with her, at this point I wouldn't really mind it, but seriously, shes married. But after shes all been through, I don't really care about kissing her.

Although, kinda an interesting situation after you beat a woman's husband near death, kinda screw up a few walls in there living room and then you get asked if she can kiss you. I let out a little chuckle mid kiss, leaving my hands on her hips. "Any reason you want to kiss me so bad?" I asked, breaking the kiss, but judging by her face she wasn't to fond of that.

She looked up at me and smiled "Your sweet" There was a pause, as if that was all she wanted to say, but then she just let a little shrug pass over her then continue to speak "Your nothing like other men."

Hah! Don't I know that for a fact. But at the same time that kinda stung a little. I'm not one to enjoy the idea of being other than your average Joe. But if she were to say something like 'Well, your more handsome and charming than the other men' see now that i knew. But when someone leaves it like she did, makes you think what shes really talking about.

"You care, and not because its your duty, not because its your job, you just care." She smiled and continued "You find people who you deem pure, innocent. And not like virgins i mean like, you find good people. Like, You find the people who don't suck!" She let out a little giggle, her youth displaying itself in her over-use of the word 'like'.

I smiled and leaned my back against the car and went to speak but she cut me off "You were just about to say 'I'm nothing special' right? Thats what makes you different Adam. You've never once taken credit, and if you did, it wasn't for long." She grinned and leaned her head against my chest and just hugged me. I didn't know what to say, but she was right. I don't like seeing my accomplishments as something to celebrate. I see them as stepping stones. You do it, it happens and people move on.

I looked down to her with a smirk "I am nothing special, Heather. I do what I do because someone has to. Because if I don't, then it won't get done." my voice was low, looking over her head to see that Bethany had arrived. Brian and Carl hadn't showed up yet, and it worried me that she was standing so casually in the dark. Bethany didn't really talk much in these meetings, and judging by her attire i figured she wasn't in the business for talking, more showing if ya' know what I mean.

Reaching into her purse Bethany pulled out a lollipop and started to suck on it, when she noticed I was looking she gave me a wink. Yeah, there it is. I looked to to Heather with a raised brow "What's Bethany's story?"

Looking a little jealous at my curiosity, she turned her head to shrug her shoulder "From what we can gather, rough child hood, bit of a heavy drinker ya' know? She keeps going back and forth."

"Back and forth?" I asked, only getting a dirty image in my mind due to my suspicions of her occupation. But part of me understood. If I was right and Bethany was a call girl, or whatever you want to call it, i'd imagine a drink now and again wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, unless your one of us.

"She keeps drinking from time to time. Not really sure what's going on with her though, she won't talk. But she just keeps on showing up." Her voice trailed off as if the last part was something she wasn't so sure about.

Now, I know your all wondering what happened at the meeting, but thats not important. All you need to know is I went and that was it. We talked about Brian's depression, how he got over it, how Carl was talking about his family, Heather talked about her husband was not in the hospital for a troll attack, but i was interested in Bethany. I wanted to hear what was going on with her. What makes someone want to to help themselves, but then not help themselves?

As soon as the meeting was over, we all wished each other good night, I gave Heather a little love tap on her ass and she gave me playful smile. Wished them all good night, Bethany never got picked up, perfect. I drove my car two blocks down the street and started back to see where she went. Fortunately, not very far.

She was standing at the corner of the intersection, smoking a cigarette. I followed slow enough to not get scene by anyway, but thats what worried me, she was walking into the parts of the town that weren't safe. Gang violence was at an all time high, but what confused me was, this was a woman with at least some kind of abilities.

The AA I went to wasn't for regular citizens, this was for people with extraordinary gifts. So what leads someone like us to go into a life like that, was it for the pleasure? For the people, just because it was an interest, I'd have to see for myself. She finished off a cigarette and instantly went for another one, but instead of reaching for a lighter, she held up a finger, and a little blaze formed over it, lighting her cigarette, Bingo.

Fire powers, not uncommon, but I wanted to continue to follow her and see just how far her powers went, not to mention I wanted to find out the origin of her powers. But before I even noticed what had happened, she got into a red car and drove away. But not before I noticed that one of the occupants in the car was a a lieutenant in one of the worst gangs in the city. The Hellions.

Interesting enough I was able to keep base with the car, it only went a few blocks. Following it to a ware house in the lower east side, I made my way to a nice vantage point where I could keep an eye on the way things were operating. I smelled the air, not a chemical plant and oddly enough no fires, which lead me to assume this was some kind of storage warehouse, probably leased out with no background check needed.

Making my way around the building, not wanting to alert anyone, I climbed up one of the maintenance cat walks, moving nice and slow through one of the windows located on the roof. Nothing special to be had here in the field of gang hide outs. Guns were everywhere, another great reason to stay low, and of course, being an all male gang, the women in the building where being used for only one thing.

"Nice and easy Adam..." I whispered to myself as I looked for some way to get around without alerting to many people. I wasn't about to not take all these punks out, but my mission wasn't to clear out a gang hide out, it was to find Bethany, and see what I can do to help her.

"Get your hands off me, Ryan!" I heard one of the women say. As I looked, i saw that she wasn't in the garb of the gang, probably some poor girl dating one of these scum balls promised a good time.

"C'mon babe! Its just three of us, it won't be so bad!" one of the fucks said with a little laugh, two other gang members laughing behind him. Focus Adam Focus...I started to say inside my head, not wanting to get involved in anything to early.

"Soundtrack: Burn my Shadows"

I started to walk away when i heard her scream as this so called "Ryan" ripped off her top. Couldn't do it, couldn't just walk away. Putting my arm over the cat walk I flung myself at the group, of course, i was a story or two up above them, so i knew that to say "I had the element of surprise" was an understatement.

I landed right next to the girl, giving me time to reach out and grab at the Ryan character and spin him once to send him into one of his friends, trying to buy myself time to reach out for the other punks handgun he had so conveniently located in the waistband of his shorts. Now, I've got a strict policy for people who abuse what they have, I believe that people like that should have what they have taken away from them. Pulling the trigger while It was still in the mans waist band forced his hands in between his legs, knowing full well he wasn't going to get back up, i turned the gun to the other two men, smirking tot hem before pulling the trigger.

Of course, I could hear the room filling with screams and shouts to see what is going on, But i looked to the woman and fired the pistol behind her head, breaking a glass window and then handing her the gun only speaking one word "Run." She did and before I could even turn around, a shotgun shell was planted right in my chest, sending me back behind a few crates. For those of you who can imagine, a shotgun really fucking hurts. Having rock like skin doesn't mean I didn't feel it. But I wasn't gonna let him get a second shot off, So I crawled to my feet and waited behind the crate.

"C'mon out pussy!" The guy yelled, cocking his shotgun to load another shell, I grinned realizing he had a pump shotgun, which meant once he got that shell out, unless he was really good with that gun, I had a limited amount of time to get out, grab it and give him a piece of it. Lifting my head to taunt him he then fired the shell, the buckshot rocketing past my head, but i waisted no time before rolling over the crate and grabbing the barrel of the gun, pulling on it and out of the punks hands, he was scared, and watched as in one swift comment I had it aimed at his face, cocked and loaded.

After turning that last one's face into a train wreck, I searched there bodies for any more shells. Finding a few, i loaded the old hunting shotgun and started looking around. Apparently with all the other guns going off for shooting practice, people really weren't aware that I was there to kill them. Good for me. Hiding the four bodies inside the crates I started down one of the hallways, thats where i found Bethany.

She was in the middle of this group of me, but they weren't hurting her, they weren't beating her or anything of that nature, they were hooting at her, hollering at her show. She was a stripper, but she was a stripper for gang bangers? They don't just watch, they take what they want, but I guess her powers stopped them from doing that. I grinned at the two dozen men in the room and knew for a fact that this wasn't going to be easy, but it was seriously going to be fun.

Holding the shotgun over my shoulder I walked casually into the group, standing amongst them before two or three of them realized I Wasn't a Hellion. One went to take a swing, but I was able to duck and let him punch one of his friends, giving me time to bring the shotgun from my angle under one of there chins, One more down. Using the recoil of the blast to flip the shotgun backwards, now holding it like a bat. Bringing it up under another one of there chins, I was able to give him a nice crack.

Of course by this time most of them whipped out there pistols and some were able to take a few shots at me, but a little thing called practice allowed me to side step in the group, allowing the bullets to hit some of there fellow thugs. Bethany recognized me and put her bra back on, along with every other piece of clothing that was littered all over the makeshift stage she was dancing on. I looked down from the stage and saw that one of them had an Uzi aimed at me, I grinned and grabbed one of the thugs, dropping the shotgun and reaching for the thugs pistol. Revolver, I looked quick to see i had four shots left. Holding the thug at my front, I used him as a human shield as I popped off the four rounds into the three men around the man with the Uzi, causing him to open fire, hopping to shoot me through his friend.

After about fifteen failed bullets entered his friends body, i heard that little snap Uzis make when they are empty. Using the final round to blast the man in the head. Five more down. With only about four left who stayed and fought, the others smart enough to run while they could, i looked to them and smirked, looking down at myself to find there was little to no damage past the small amount of blood from the buckshot earlier. My eyes met with one of them as he looked at his friends and held his hands up. Smart move. But before I could react a Bullet went into my back. Growling I turned my head to see of all things a woman.

"Yo! You think you can just bust in here and fuck with us and what? We are just gonna take it? No sir!" She was packing a large magnum handgun. Behind her stood Bethany and a few other women. Great, a woman leading a group of strippers to dance for a bunch of punks. "We got a sweet deal here, yo! And I ain't gonna let some super fuck screw that up! You hearin' me?" her voice was obnoxious, obviously from out of town.

I'm against hurting women. I'm not for hurting them in any way, but if it comes down to my life or theres, there isn't much choice. I stood up and waited for her to take another shot, looking around quickly I saw that the hunting shotgun was right where i had dropped it amongst the dead bodies. I looked at her, and for punk she had some serious steady aim. Slowly tucking my foot under one of the dead Hellions I looked at her seriously "Put the gun down and You won't get hurt."

She laughed and just looked behind her "Can you believe this guy?" She smirked and looked back at me, But it was Bethany who just looked at the woman with a frown, reaching out to put a hand on the back of her head. "Yo! Bitch get your hand of m--AHHHHH!" She screamed as Bethany set her head on fire.

I was shocked and just looked at the woman flailing around with her head on fire, the other girls looking scared and running off. Bethany looked to me and frowned, walking up completely ignoring the punk on fire, still screaming. Reaching down to grab at her large revolver and to shut her up, blowing her brains out all over the floor. The fire quickly spreading to the rest of the dead bodies "We should go" was all she said as she tucked the handgun into a small purse around her hip.

I wasn't sure what to make of what just happened. She didn't talk she didn't say a word, all she did was go for a bottle of booze that was sitting there. I frowned at her and she just looked at me, taking the bottle and splashing it all over the fallen thugs. "Thanks."

We didn't talk after that, we just--well, I called the fire department while she went on her merry way. I don't know what was going to happen to Bethany, not even sure what to make of the situation she was in. All I know is shes better off, and from what I can tell, she was on her own. Before she left I asked her if she needed a place, she cracked a hooker joke saying that I didn't need to be the hero to get laid, but i wasn't gonna even go there.

I gave her some cash and she went on her way, hopeful to a better life. But, after all that just happened I needed to get some rest. I walked the couple of blocks to my car and drove home, Hearing on the news the next morning that the woman who was in charge of one of the largest sex rings in paragon was burned alive. I shook my head and just thought about how much better of Bethany is going to be. Or at least I can hope so.

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